By celebrating the positivity and excellence of others we find inspiration to elevate ourselves.
In this spirit, we take this special opportunity to honor Black excellence and set higher standards for ourselves as a community by celebrating the accomplishments and influence of Black individuals who have left an indelible mark on history. Esteemed figures such as Steve Harvey, Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, Barack and Michelle Obama, and many others have not only achieved greatness but have also proudly embraced their Black heritage, fostering a sense of solidarity that resonates. Equally significant is the representation and inspiration they provide to young girls and boys who grapple with accepting their unique attributes within the Black community, making them feel cherished and visible.
In this celebration of Black History Month, we shine a spotlight on the following remarkable women who proudly wear and embrace their identity through various hairstyles and distinctive looks.
1. Tracee Ellis Ross
We can all agree that the incredible Tracee Ellis Rossi is a force to be reckoned with. Tracee is not just an actress; she's a beacon of authenticity and empowerment. Best known for her role in 'Black-ish,' Tracee's portrayal of Rainbow Johnson is both hilarious and heartfelt. The show beautifully represents the dynamics of a loving, African American family while tackling real-life issues head-on. In 'Black-ish,' her on-screen daughters, Zoe (played by Yara Shahidi) and Diane (played by Marsai Martin), flaunt unique and creative braided hairstyles that inspire young generations to embrace their natural beauty and heritage.
Beyond the screen, Tracee is the visionary founder of 'Pattern,' a haircare company that celebrates the natural beauty of textured hair. She's also the producer and host of 'Hair Tales,' a show that focuses on women's hair stories, the Black Hair Business, and hair as an art form. Tracee's love for embracing her true self extends to her ever-changing natural curly hairstyles in 'Black-ish,' where she magnificently showcases various styles.
2. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle, in Harper's Bazaar, says she first developed a fascination with her hair when she was six or seven years old. She says she noticed how different her hair was from her cousins who had a different texture compared to hers, and felt like theirs was better and more feminine compared to hers. She adds that she had her first negative experience as a child when a kid like her, removed the cap that she was using to cover her head and exposed her little braids, and the looks she got from people made her start feeling insecure about her hair. She grew up with the notion that black hair was not good enough and this is seen even in her early days of acting. Through the years and even after she got her baby girl, she claims that she had to unlearn so much and let go of so many misconceived ideals on what acceptable hair is supposed to look like, and leaned more into a healthy hair mindset. She also started her own hair care line called Flawless, which has every hair care product any black woman may need to have healthy hair.
3. Lupita Nyongo
Lupita is known for many things, from being an Oscar winner, Children's book author, TV-series producer, and apparently, an unofficial global educator of Black Hair. Lupita has opened up about the struggle of being an A-list actor with kinky hair. She admits that microaggressions surrounding black hair are sadly still very much a thing. However, Lupita is happy to take up the cause to show other dark, kinky-haired people and particularly children that they are beautiful just as they are. She has taken it upon herself to do everyone’s part in an attempt to bring some light on the ongoing issue and was recently in a seriously aggravating position when a magazine edited her kinky hair out of her own cover (Nyong’o was on the magazine’s cover) She was however compensated by doing another shoot, but with that step of speaking out, that was a sign of progress. Hopefully, with time, more black people will follow her example and speak up when in a similar position.
4.Taraji P Henson
The Empire star opens up about her hair journey claiming that she went natural for years, but through that period, she still felt the need to lean towards straightening her hair. That, her hair got very damaged by the heat methods she used, so she decided to cut off her hair and start from scratch. Taraji who is currently specialising in scalp care, states that for you to have beautiful black hair, you need to start from the scalp. She claims to have had issues with her scalp, so her hair was not growing to be too healthy and that is what she used to come up with a great scalp care product. She states that she used to waste a lot of money trying to protect her hair by wearing protective hairstyles like braids, which only lasted a short time due to her scalp getting too itchy. As a protective style enthusiast, she says that in order to protect her hair when she has braids, twists or locs on, she uses a cooling serum to relieve her scalp from any itchiness she might experience and to keep her hairstyle freshened up for longer.
5. India Amarteifio
Emerging as a rising British star, India Amarteifio has charmed audiences with her outstanding performance in the hit Netflix period drama, "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." Notably, the show celebrates her natural hair and as opposed to trying to straighten it out in an attempt to make it neater, her hair is gracefully reimagined to harmonize with the intricate aesthetics of the 1700s- a fact that means the world to our new beloved star seeing as this pays a tribute to her heritage. India's individuality and love for braids are also reflected in her candid interviews and her hairstylist attests to her commitment to experimenting with diverse braided styles, each a unique addition to the captivating realm of her looks. Our beloved trailblazer aims to have a significant impact on younger Black viewers by proudly showcasing her authenticity through her hair, leaving an indelible mark on both the screen and the hearts of her admirers and we have to agree she is succeeding in serving as a beacon of positivity.
6. Letitia Wright
Last but definitely not least, we celebrate Black Panther's Letitia Wright, whose journey to embracing her natural beauty has been nothing short of inspiring. In an interview with Glamour, Letitia shared how playing the iconic Shuri allowed her to reconnect with her Guyanese roots although she was mostly raised in north London. She mentioned that she was pulled into the misconstrued belief that straighter hair was better and that it took stepping into Shuri's shoes, a sassy character with braids and a shorter pixie look with curls in the sequel for her to feel empowered to wear natural hairstyles. This encouraged Letitia to embrace her own beauty and we can all agree that this is a journey that many of us can relate to.
At TTAT, we believe that hair is one of the deep cultural connectors between women, especially within the Black community. Our hair stories are intertwined, and in celebrating these remarkable individuals, we empower younger generations to embrace their true selves with love and pride. As we honor Black History Month, let's continue to uplift, inspire, and celebrate each other. Together, we create a legacy of empowerment and unity that will inspire generations to come.
Happy Black History Month everyone!